Niagara Regional Police are warning residents of a rise in “distraction thefts” across the region in recent weeks.
The gimmick involves suspects distracting victims with cheap imitation jewelry by placing it on them, at which point the thieves steal more expensive items without the victim realizing it.
Incidents have been reported in St. Catharines, Niagara Falls and Welland.
The suspects are described as in their 50s with larger builds and were last seen wearing dark clothing. Police said they are driving a small black compact car.
Residents are being warned to be cautious if approached by an unknown person and to report any suspicious activities to police.